Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Spring water

Water in Ballarat is treated since the drought and doesn't taste very nice, but I'm drinking a glass of pure water tonight. It is really thirst quenching.

At the bottom of the hill, in another town where our friends live, is a natural spring.
Everyone here can just walk down this path with bottles or buckets and collect fresh water from the spring.

We went down last weekend, took three bottles in our bucket and filled them up.

Then we admired the geese foraging by the stream that runs from the spring.

Free, fresh water is such a luxury.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

The road we didn't take

We drove out along roadsides glowing with wattle blossom to see our friends.

The sky was soft and the green was luminous, the soil richly red until the clouds swept across

and all the colours changed

then changed again.

This is the pub we didn't stop at.

and this is the road we didn't drive down.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Water for the frogs?

A little rain has fallen this winter, but the swampy land by the roadside, which is frog country, is hardly wet at all. This roadside may not look very exciting but it is where the grass frogs sing all evening when spring comes.

They are really loud and noisy and I love them.

What if there are no puddles left for them this year?

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

His kitchen and mine

Here are the contents of a shopping trip, which divide neatly into his - on the right - and mine on the left. Fortunately, while the shopping and cooking are divided in this house, the eating is always shared.

And while Yin's kitchen tends to be very practical and rather crowded, mine is a tad frivolous.

And sometimes I buy things because I love the packaging. Don't you love the design of this packet of kitchen salt? I don't think it's changed since my grandma used to buy it.

And a kitchen is nothing, no matter how good its soy sauce, without geraniums for joy and aloe vera for burns.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

The swans are nesting

The Paddy dog and I went to the pond in the park.

He loves to bark at the ducks and send them splashing off.

He had to stay on the lead as we walked around the pond to find the swans.

Just as I hoped, when I saw the pair of swans in June, there is a nest in the pond now.

It's a very stately nest, entirely suiting it's occupier.

Who disdains elderly, noisy dogs.

Yes, sadly, that is a blue plastic bag floating in the water.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

A bus stop and a grand fence

Ballarat has the best old-style bus stops, such as this one in Sturt Street, even though the council is doing its best to replace them with 'modern' green metal shelters.

When you sit in one of these elegant, old fashioned wood and plastic shelters you can really enjoy the spring plantings along the road

and the the first pink blossoms hurtling into the blue world.

Then there are the drains and gutters. I passionately love the bluestone gutters here,

and the stone bridges for pedestrians.

and the solidly monumental drains. All cut and carved out out the local
volcanic basalt.

So I love this fence being sculpted in the street to much criticism, because it is not like all the other fences and house boundaries. Which are nice enough, especially with moss to green them,

but they won't make you get up from the bus stop and cross over the road to have a really good look.

This fence is a real pleasure to walk past.

and around

although it's not finished yet.

and someone has spray painted it because it is too flamboyant and grand and different.

(Please excuse the thumb).
Fortunately it's going to be too solid to knock over, by even the most fanatical fence enforcer, so it should be around to enjoy for a while.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Almond blossom

I hadn't realised that the almond tree is already blossoming until I saw the moon shining on it late this evening as I came home from walking the dogs.

I love to walk around the quiet streets in these cold blue winter evenings. Moonlight and street light make enticing shadows.

It's still cold outside

Winter is turning over and the dark and cold are drawing back. But I don't want winter to go. I love the icing of frost on the grass and the leaves and the last rose hip in the garden this morning

My fingers were aching in the cold but the air was so crisp and sharp, I crunched around the garden and licked ice off the leaves.

When I looked up the tree was full of brilliant birds - red, yellow, blue, green and black. I just caught a few as they racketted back and forth screeching out to each other. You'll have to take my word they were as dazzling as the bright blue sky because they moved so fast I could barely focus on them.

Monday, 3 August 2009

It's cold outside

It's cold outside tonight and I needed gloves to put out out the rubbish bins, but inside it's really cosy.

Matching up

I love crockery and china-ware and porcelain, and I pick up bits and pieces as I go. Here's a small plate I've had for years.
Just last week I found this solitary cup in a second hand shop in Sturt Street.

Cup and plate suit each other well, although one was made in China and one in England, designed for rather different tables and menus.

And here they sit, on my desk in southern Australia, perfectly happy with each other.